Barbara Jean Paciotti
Missing since June 14, 1969 from Hibbing, St. Louis County, Minnesota
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
Paciotti was last seen in downtown near Sammyís Pizza (now the Mane Salon), where a close friend watched her get into a 1964 Oldsmobile being driven by a suspect she had been dating.
Paciotti was residing in Minneapolis at the time but in town visiting her parents, for the weekend visit and in celebration of Fatherís Day. She had been working as a secretary for an investment firm for about a year.
Later that day, officers of the Minneapolis Police Department were called by the suspect's family members to check on his welfare. He was living in an apartment in Minneapolis and had returned some time that day. He was located by law enforcement a few blocks from his apartment shortly thereafter. According to reports, a short chase ensued. The suspect was soon apprehended and returned with officers to his apartment.
While being questioned, the suspect told officers that he and Paciotti took a ride around 01:30 a.m. He said they had an argument, which prompted him to exit the car. A specified location of the stop was not given.
The suspect went on to tell officers that he recalled hitting Paciotti once, and that he was sure she was dead. He remembers waking up in Mora, Minnesota, but not where he left Paciotti.
Officers noticed muddied clothing and shoes lying on the apartment floor. Mud and grass covered a pair of pants that the suspect claimed he had been wearing earlier that morning.
The suspect's vehicle, which belonged to his father, was searched. Officers located a purse with one of its straps detached. Inside the purse, they found Paciottiís identification. The suspect was not arrested at the time.
A day later, the Minneapolis Homicide Unit received word from family members that the suspect had penned a suicide note. Family also told officers they had spoken to him about Paciotti and what may have occurred, adding that he did not remember much. He was admitted to a hospital for observation.
A search warrant was executed by Minneapolis officers on June 19, 1969. The suspect's roommate informed them that the muddied pants and shoes in question were taken by the suspect's mother. The shoes were located some time after but the pants never were. Officers attempted to question the suspect about his involvement with Paciotti on June 20, 1969, but were unsuccessful.
At the same time, several massive ground searches were mobilized in the Hibbing area, but raised no leads. Three reports were received via phone that a vehicle was seen on Highway 73 with its headlights on in the early hours of the morning on June 14. The reports place the vehicle about one mile south of the Maple Hill overpass. It is unknown whether the vehicle was occupied at the time. Paciotti was never found. The case was eventually suspended.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Cold Case Unit
Hibbing Police Department
Investigator Dale Wright
The Daily Tribune
NamUs MP #11036
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